The credit card holder's bill of rights out to level the playing field

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A swipe here and a swipe there can get you debt...everywhere.

"I think that credit card debt is an evil vicious cycle," said Rhonda Ducote.

Legislators are hoping to stop the cycle with the credit cardholders "bill of rights". It's a proposal overwhelmingly approved by the House financial services committee with a 48 to 19 vote.

"There's lot of things that could be beneficial," said credit counselor Glenda Corzine.

Corzine said the intentions behind the bill are good ones, but is waiting before praising it.

"It sounds like it could be a big change, but until they actually get everything finalized it's hard to know how much it's gonna benefit," Corzine explained.

Helping to level the playing field between cardholders and companies, the proposed bill of rights would eliminate due date gimmicks, requiring card companies to mail billing statements 25 calendar days before the due date. Also, to increase accessibility, a phone number and internet address to check payoff balances would be printed on all bills. The biggest consumer benefit would be stopping arbitrary interest rate boosts - doing away with the any time any reason re-pricing. Still, when it comes to taking care of credit, Corzine says there's only one safe bet.

"Bottom line it's gonna come down to the individual it's gonna have to take the steps to be where they need to be to be financially acceptable," said Corzine.

The House is expected to approve the changes next week, but the Senate's action on similar legislation is more uncertain. If passed under the House proposal, cardholders wouldn't see any changes until July of next year.

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